Australia’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly explain why he thinks that Australians won’t return to a ‘COVID-safe normal’ until after the completion of a national roll-out of the vaccine. And that could take some time.
When will life go ‘back to normal’…? It’s the question we’re all asking since the coronavirus pandemic started in early 2020.
With a myriad of vaccines (Pfizer, Oxford… which will you receive?) starting to be rolled out in countries like the UK and America, Australians are starting to wonder how long until we can receive our jab (answer: sooner than first expected), and will that ensure that our everyday lives will return to what we used to know.
Well, bad news because life as we know it will probably will never be exactly the same. But Australian health experts are predicting that we can start enjoying a ‘COVID-safe’ sense of normality once national vaccinations have taken place, but not too soon.
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Australia’s chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly told journalists on Sunday that ‘It is a bit hard to tell now … I can’t look into my crystal ball, I’m afraid…
[But] every single person that gets their two doses of vaccine and get that very strong protection against severe illness, will give people more confidence, will give the public health system more confidence, will give our politicians – that need to make these decisions in the end – more confidence.”
According to the government, the national roll out of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccination plan will begin in early March, 2021 – two weeks earlier than first expected. Perhaps in response to the alarming spread of COVID-19 from NSW’s Northern Beaches outbreak just prior to Christmas. Those who will be given first access to the vaccine include the elderly, and front line health workers.
Health Minister Greg Hunt predicts the program will likely be completed by October, with 80,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to arrive in Australia every week in January.
So, is there anything we can do to help speed up this process? In short – plenty. Follow COVID-safe practices of social distancing, wearing a mask in public places where social distancing isn’t possible (ie. here), wash your hands regularly (and like this), and get tested immediately if you have any symptoms of coronavirus or think you may have come into contact with someone who has test positive for COVID-19.
And if you need to stock up on reusable masks, may we suggest you check out these rather excellent options that can all be delivery by tomorrow.